Heartland family bonds by building family tree

Richmond enjoys finding family resemblances in old family photos.

Diane Richmond and her family are like any other family, they're curious about where they come from.

"Finding sort of who we were, who we are how that shapes us, kind of that family legacy, that's always fun,â?? said Richmond.

That's why they've started digging deep into the past.

"It was just a little bit of information passed on from a grandmother or from some other family member,â?? said her mother Ethella McKee.

Theyâ??ve been building and building their family tree, based on a census here and a photo there.

"It has been so fun to just be able to keep connecting back, and keep connecting back, being able to find pictures is another interesting thing,â?? said Richmond.

"We found a big family picture in a trunk, and I knew my Great-Grandfather was in it, but I had no idea who the other peoples were, and so I asked Diane, I said why don't we put that on the internet and see if anybody will identify them, and believe it or not they did,â?? said McKee.

And now they have plenty to show for it.

"We have I want to say something like betweenâ?¦15,000 records in our family tree,â?? said Richmond.

"One of the earliest records we have is back in 1759 it came from Ireland,â?? said McKee.

But their research goes far beyond any record books. Diane, her mother and three children have visited cemeteries across northeast Missouri, searching for relatives and any little piece of history they can connect to.

"That's a peaceful place, that I can remember that person and it's exciting to see and know that there were real people and that they had lives and families and struggled with the same things that we do and I think it's just that connected-ness," said Richmond.

But their research isnâ??t just about connecting with ancestors long past.

"I think another favorite thing is being able to share it with my kids," said Richmond.

Theyâ??re working to keep the history alive for future generations.

"I think I like passing on the legacy," said Richmond.

If youâ??re interested in compiling information about your ancestors, many local libraries have genealogy resources for you to use. For a full list of resources in Missouri click here, and for resources in Iowa click here.